Making Crime Illegal Again, Failing Tax Grade, Livingston County Farm Bureau Breakfast, and More

Making Crime Illegal Again

My Republican colleagues and I warned of the consequences when Democrats pushed their so-called SAFE-T Act, and, unfortunately, what we predicted has come to pass: criminals have been emboldened, our law enforcement community has been handcuffed and demoralized…and our communities have been made less safe. We must change course this spring. The House Republican Truth in Public Safety (TIPS) Working Group on which I serve has unveiled a new package of bills to help restore law and order in our communities and help recruit new first responders to improve public safety.

New legislation we introduced this week includes:

HB 5120 – Expands detainable offenses pending trial based on the severity of the offense and determination of whether the defendant poses a real threat to individuals or the community.

HB 5121 – Enables revocation of a defendant’s pre-trial release if the defendant is charged with a new offense.

HB 5126 – Reverts back to pre- SAFE-T Act processes of the court issuing a warrant for a defendant’s failure to appear in court.

To support and help with recruitment of first responders, we have also filed HB 5122 that creates a $500 tax credit for a taxpayer who serves as a full-time police officer, firefighter, or rescue worker. Additionally, HB 5123 will establish an annual recruit training program schedule for basic law enforcement or county corrections training.

These and other bills our working group is offering will put us on the path to making crime illegal again in Illinois.

Meanwhile, The Illinois State Police is increasing starting pay for new State Troopers. Starting July 1, 2024, new Troopers will earn a total amount of compensation above $90k upon graduation from the Illinois State Police Academy. 

Visit to apply.

Common-Sense Ethics Reform

Newly introduced House Bill 4119, would prohibit elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense. House Republican Leader Tony McCombie stressed the importance of the measure, an unfortunate reminder of just how much progress the State of Illinois must make amid Ethics Awareness Month.

The bill would close a loophole that has enabled bad actors, including former Speaker Mike Madigan, to use millions of dollars in funds from his campaign coffer, ‘Friends of Michael J. Madigan,’ to pay for legal fees as he fights federal corruption and racketeering charges. Presenting the bill in committee this week, Leader McCombie called HB 4119 a commonsense measure.

MoneyGeek Names Illinois the Least Tax-friendly of the 50 States

The warning label came from a database that indicates that a median Illinois family must pay approximately 13% of its income in State and local taxes. These taxes, which are separate from the federal income taxes that all Americans must also pay, are levies that are controlled by the local governments elected by the taxpayers. In particular, the average Illinois property tax bill of $9,000 per residence drove Illinois to the bottom of the tax-friendliness list. Illinois earned a “F” grade for tax unfriendliness at the bottom of the list. Other “F”-graded states included Connecticut and New Jersey.

Several states adjacent to Illinois earned much higher grades because of lower government spending and comprehensive tax reform efforts. Indiana and Kentucky were graded “C,” and Missouri was graded “B.” Several states with no personal income tax, including fast-growing Florida and high-tech-oriented Washington, earned a coveted “A” grade.  

Around the District

Thank you to the Livingston County Farm Bureau for inviting me and Rep. Jason Bunting to discuss important legislation being discussed in Springfield!

Maker’s Madness

There’s still time to vote in the Top 16 round of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s Makers Madness competition and help determine the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.